German Jesuits Defy the Vatican

October 18, 2018
Fr. Ansgar Wucherpfennig, S.J.

The Congregation for Catholic Education has refused to renew the nihil obstat needed for the reelection of the Jesuit rector of the St. George Faculty of Theology in Frankfurt, because of his unorthodox positions on homosexuality and women priests.

Fr. Ansgar Wucherpfennig, SJ, is aspiring to a third term as head of the St. George Faculty, but his career could meet with a serious setback, for the Holy See has reproached the religious for certain of his declarations that “are not in conformity with the teachings of the Church.”

Indeed, in the October 14, 2018 issue of the Frankfurter Neue Presse, Fr. Wucherpfennig remarked that the Church’s negative attitude towards homosexuals “is sometimes rooted in a misunderstanding of certain passages from the Bible.”

The Congregation for Catholic Education is now demanding an “immediate correction” from the Jesuit on “priestly ordination as exclusively for men” and on “the moral evolution of homosexual acts”.

Fr. Wucherpfennig has refused to comply, as he has the influential support of his own provincial, Fr. Johannes Siebner, SJ, who revealed the affair to the public in an interview with the information website of the Catholic Church in Germany.

To quote the exact words of the superior of the German Jesuits, this affair leads to believe that “nothing has been noticed or understood regarding the ongoing discussion on the abuse of power” in the Church…

In passing, sensible – and honest – commenters will not fail to see that if there is a schism, it would be fitting to see and denounce it where it really is, rather than pretending it is in the ranks of the Society of St. Pius X.

In any case, the power struggle between Rome and the German Jesuits has clearly begun.